When Harley Davidson began setting up a mother plant at Bawal, Haryana, that was only the third such plant, after the United States and Brazil, much talk centered around the lifestyle brand building a sub 800cc Harley Davidson motorcycle model that was expected to be tailor made for the Indian market. However, this isn’t to be as Harley Davidson India CEO Anoop Prakash has now clearly asserted that the brand will not be building a sub 800cc motorcycle specifically meant for the Indian market. Rather, he goes on to say that every new model Harley develops will be a global model.
With that, the chances of a INR 3-4 lakh Harley Davidson developed specifically for the Indian market seem to have diminished even as earlier media reports including the one we carried many months ago, suggest otherwise. That said, all the previous reports have been ones quoting sources and suppliers talking about the made-for-India Harley. This is for the first time that official word has emerges straight from the horse’s mouth and therefore, this represents a new development in the story of Harley mulling an India specific motorcycle.
However, the existing range of entry level Harley Davidson motorcycles like the Sportster Iron 883 could be available between INR 3-4 lakhs in the coming years if Harley begins building these motorcycles in India from grounds up. A smaller capacity Harley Davidson cruiser has for long been seen as an anticipated move from the company, to target younger buyers in the emerging economies like India, Brazil and South East Asia. However, with a top Harley Davidson official pricking the bubble of a sub-800cc Harley Davidson not being on the horizon, the chances of such a model appear quite bleak at the moment.
That said, Harley Davidson India does have plans of expanding its CKD line up by beginning the local assembly of another model from the Dyna series in India by the end of 2012. Other high end, sportsbike brands though, are looking at downsizing their engine capacities to build more affordable motorcycles to bring in bigger volumes for new markets. One such brand is British motorcycle maker Triumph, which does have plans of building a 350cc single cylinder motorcycle. Austrian motorcycle maker KTM will come up with the Duke 350 in early 2013 while the Audi owned Italian motorcycle brand Ducati launched the cut price version of the Monster with the 795 model, earlier this year.